This is the fourth part of an eight-part series highlighting three dynasty players in each division on the value hot seat leading up to the NFL Draft, complete with actionable pre-NFL Draft dynasty advice (note: for purposes of this article series, assume a 12-team superflex, full PPR scoring format).
Previous article from this series:
Kenyan Drake, RB MIA
Drake dazzled owners after replacing Jay Ajayi in 2017 and his ADP climbed to RB27 prior to the 2018 season. Last year was deflating for fantasy teams as he saw only 173 touches in a fully healthy season and now has us wondering what to do with him heading into year four. On one hand, the opportunity in Miami should be plentiful under new QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and the backfield competition only includes sophomore Kalen Ballage. However, Drake has never shown the ability to handle many touches in a single season dating back to his entire college career and another back in the mix could muddy the waters even more as it relates to his 2019 outlook. Ballage excels in the passing game and is poised to see plenty of work as a receiver while Drake should be mixed into a lightened three-down role. A rookie running back likely impacts Drake more so then Ballage and it’s important to remember that the coaching staff has no allegiance to Drake. New coach Brian Flores comes from a New England system not shy on creating frustrating backfield situations and many dynasty owners have been treading lightly with either holding Drake or buying as a discount where available.
Chill’s Take? Drake is a poor man’s version of Marlon Mack and is in unequivocally a worse situation. His metrics and prior spurts of production are worth purchasing for an early-mid 2nd round pick, but more than likely the Dolphins will bring some competition in and given the volatile 2019 RB class, Drake slots right into the mix with many of the incoming rookies. Consider capitalizing on a sell window on Drake if the Dolphins don’t invest heavily at RB in the draft, target a 2020 1st round pick and take a shot on Kalen Ballage at a lower acquisition cost.
James White, RB NE
James White finished last season as RB in overall scoring and RB10 in points per game, marking his first top 12 finish in five years. He carried owners early in the year with nine straight double-digit scoring weeks but fizzled down the stretch with only two double digit games in his last six. For the second straight season, White left dynasty owners with trust concerns heading into the subsequent season and its clear he’s more of a secondary option in the offense that is historically very u predictable. The 2018 NFL playoffs featured a dominating performance by rookie Sony Michel and included Rex Burkhead back in the touch mix in a crossover capacity with White. Both players return to New England and the Patriots have been busy visiting with even more options at the position after recently meeting with T.J. Yeldon. This is a clear sign that New England isn’t opposed to bringing in another RB and the draft is loaded with later round options that could be acquired with one of their twelve draft picks. If your team owns James White, the optimal outcome is the first half of the 2017 and 2018 season where you got a reliable receiving floor and assurance that starting White in your lineup would be both predictable and productive. Unfortunately, the Patriots have not complied and yet again, we wonder how to value White.
Chill’s Take? He’s a difficult sell at this point given the above results aren’t a mystery to many. White’s profile doesn’t allow for a ceiling in the minds of many potential buyers making him a difficult player to sell for any value unless a need arises and he’s scoring fantasy points. I’d recommend holding White and attempting to sell during the inevitable production window during the season. He becomes a buy if the Patriots sign another running back and a target buy price in that case would be a late 2nd round pick. We don’t know how long this gig lasts and given that information, get out at the next sell-high opportunity that arises.
Robby Anderson, WR NYJ
Anderson finished 2018 very strong delivering 20 catches, 312 yards and 3 touchdowns during the fantasy playoffs after the return of Sam Darnold from injury. The rookie gunslinger showed incredible chemistry with Anderson targeting him thirty-one times and looking at times, unstoppable. The Jets proceeded to place a second-round tender on Anderson this off-season and it is looking very likely he returns for next year as the top receiving option. All isn’t rosy for dynasty owners given the addition of target-hog RB Le’Veon Bell, explosive slot receiver Jamison Crowder and the emergence of rookie TE Chris Herndon. Quincy Enunwa was also given a significant contract extension and the Jets have been linked to a few different outside receivers in the 2019 Draft. At a current cost of WR42, Anderson presents a solid value given his weekly ceiling and potential market share, but prior off-the-field concerns and a lack of long-term commitment are factors to consider before making that investment. There isn’t a ton of room for opportunity in this offense as it exists right now, especially with Adam Gase’s historically slower pace of play and low number of overall offensive plays run. More weapons in the draft could take the shine off Anderson and push him back into a muddied mix of receivers that are very difficult to trust as a starter.
Chill’s Take? Anderson must be a hold at his current value, but it’s worth tearing the waters to see if he can be used to upgrade to a safer option in a better situation. It’s unlikely the draft pick offer for Anderson is worth selling but adding a second-round pick to upgrade to a higher-end WR3 is the best play based on pre-NFL Draft information. He becomes a prime sell candidate if we see any production pockets like we saw in the 2018 fantasy playoffs.